Obama Foreign Policy

Amb. Dermer speaks

Featured image The Obama administration is throwing a hissy fit over the invitation extended by Speaker Boehner to Prime Minister Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress over the threat posed by Iran. Given the existential nature of the threat posed by Iran to Israel, one might have entertained hopes that the Obama administration would behave otherwise, but those hopes would have been foolish. Last night Israeli Ambassador to the United »

Turkey takes a dim view of Obama’s Syria policy

Featured image In an interview with Lally Weymouth of the Washington Post, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu offers a devastating critique of President Obama’s Syria policy. Turkey, of course, has its own interests, and on some matters they diverge sharply from America’s. However, Turkey has a strong interest in (1) a stable Syria, or at least a Syria whose refugees don’t pour into Turkey by the tens of thousands, (2) a Syria »

The World Burns, America Fiddles

Featured image It would be hard to overstate how poorly things are going for the United States around the world. Iran moves steadily toward acquiring nuclear weapons, with the apparent approval of the Obama administration. Iraq, once hailed as one of the Obama administration’s greatest successes by Joe Biden, is now largely occupied by ISIS. The carnage in Syria continues. The government of Yemen, a key ally in the war against Islamic »

Why did Netanyahu accept Boehner’s invitation?

Featured image The Obama administration reportedly is fuming over Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept Speaker Boehner’s invitation to address Congress, which Netanyahu made without consulting the White House. The Israeli Prime Minister will “pay a price,” an administration official told an Israeli newspaper. Obama has perfected the art of ginning up grievances against Netanyahu and using them to seek concessions from Israel, as Netanyahu tries to smooth things over. I assume there’s »

What Blinken said

Featured image We took a brief look at the comments made by Senator Robert Menendez at the Senate Foreign Relations Commitee hearing earlier this week here. The witnesses before the committee were Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen. The committee hearing addressed the issued related to our negotiations with Iran over its illicit nuclear program. C-SPAN has posted the nearly three-hour hearing in its entirety here. »

Around the World, Reality Bursts Obama’s Bubble

Featured image Last night, President Obama put on a bizarre display of self-satisfaction: after six years of my enlightened leadership, all’s well at home and abroad! Would that it were so. In foreign policy, one of Obama’s main areas of delusion was Iran: Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile »

What Menendez said

Featured image Senator Robert Menendez is the ranking (Democratic) member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This morning at a committee hearing he said this to Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Under Secretary (and prospective CIA deputy director) David Cohen: “I have to be honest with you, the more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of »

Obama’s bogus Yemen success story

Featured image As John wrote earlier this evening, the government of Yemen, a significant U.S. ally in the war against Islamic extremism, is teetering on the brink of collapse. The situation is so dire that two U.S. Navy warships have moved into the area, ready to evacuate Americans from the U.S. embassy if necessary. Ships may be required for an evacuation because, in the wake of an embassy car being attacked today, »

Making sense of Obama’s counter-intuitive approach to negotiations with Iran

Featured image Last week, President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron pleaded with Congress not to pass new sanctions legislation against Iran. Such legislation, which has strong bipartisan support, could undermine ongoing negotiations, they argued. “Just hold your fire” until we complete negotiations, Obama urged. But Obama’s position seems nonsensical on its face. The sanctions legislation Congress contemplates passing does exactly what Obama instructs Congress to do. As the Washington Post’s editors »

Obama’s donation, behind closed doors

Featured image Recent developments involving the Islamic Republic of Iran can fairly be characterized as grave. Iran has announced that it has begun construction on two more nuclear plants, and the authorities have imprisoned a Washington Post journalist on mysterious charges. Iran’s actions are provocative. The gravity of the regime’s provocation is compounded by the complacent attitude of President Obama and his administration. According to the State Department, the new nuclear reactors »

Strangest Diplomatic Initiative Ever: You’ve Got a Friend!

Featured image The administration has acknowledged that it erred by not participating in a meaningful way in the giant pro-free speech demonstration in Paris, so it has tried to make amends by sending John Kerry to France. Apparently thinking that he needed reinforcements to convey a full sense of the administration’s symbolic support, Kerry brought along…James Taylor. For you youngsters, Taylor is a folk musician whom people our age listened to in »

Obama whispers “bang-bang” to terrorists

Featured image According to the Washington Post, weapons and ammunition are in such short supply at the centers where Iraqi army units receive training to fight ISIS that the trainees are yelling “bang-bang” instead of shooting. Last August, when President Obama announced that the U.S. would undertake a mostly proxy war against ISIS, I would have said that yelling “bang-bang” is the perfect metaphor for his anti-terrorism campaign. Today, whispering “bang-bang” is »

Gelb Makes Obama A Gelding

Featured image I remember as a mere callow college student when I made out that Jimmy Carter was finished: when liberals turned on him. For example, Ken Bode, then the revered moderator of “Washington Week in Review” on PBS, wrote in 1979 “It’s Over For Jimmy” in The New Republic: “The past two weeks will be remembered as the period when President Carter packed it in, put the finishing touches on a »

Why did Obama stay home?

Featured image Just about everyone has offered an opinion as to why President Obama stayed away from the Paris anti-terrorism rally and why he sent no top administration official. I have a theory which I’ll offer momentarily. Let me begin, though, by saying that I don’t think it’s a big deal that Obama didn’t go. The massive turnout of ordinary Parisians was important because their appearances were sincere. It’s heartening that such »

What Was Obama Thinking? A Plausible Answer

Featured image We wrote here about President Obama’s seemingly bizarre decision to stay away from the anti-terrorism rally in Paris, which was attended by more than a million people and led by more than 40 heads of state [or other high-ranking dignitaries]. This morning White House spokesman Josh Earnest fell on his sword, admitting to reporters that the administration erred by not attending the Paris unity march: “I think it’s fair to »

Where Was Obama? (Update: Steve Answers)

Featured image Tonight in Paris, up to three million people marched to support freedom of speech and to defy Islamic terrorism. They were led by more than 40 heads of state–along with France’s President Francois Hollande, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister David Cameron, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and dozens more. But no high-ranking American official attended. Barack Obama did not join his fellow leaders. Nor did he send Joe Biden, John Kerry–whose »

A period of consequences

Featured image Watching the horrifying events in Paris this week, I have found Churchill’s great speech of November 12, 1936, coming to mind. It is one of Churchill’s prophetic speeches — I believe in the Prophet Churchill — decrying the complacency of the government in the face of the gathering storm in Germany. “So they go on in strange paradox,” Churchill asserted in Parliament of those responsible for the defense of the »